IT IS ironic that the outright opposition of the business community and the Chamber of Trade to the closure of Lendal Bridge coincided with the latest figures for footfall in the city.

Despite the dire warnings about the negative effect on business, figures published in The Press showed a 10.6 per cent increase in shoppers in March 2014 with Lendal Bridge closed, compared with the same period last year when the bridge was open.

Some of us remember the opposition by the same interest group 25 years ago when the then council leader proposed making the city centre a pedestrian area. By comparison with the recent reactions to the Lendal Bridge proposals, the vitriol experienced by Coun Hills was far greater. Nevertheless, believing the changes were in the best interests of the city and its residents, he pressed on.

Who would want to turn back the clock now? Not the city centre businesses – they have never had it so good. Indeed those in Fossgate are pleading with the council to extend the scheme to include that area.

The city will regret caving in to the self interests of motorists and the business community in years to come.

Bob Towner, Hobgate, York.